Hip Hop is alive on campus

The Wits Hip Hop Society is bringing a new beat onto campus.

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A new society that focuses on dance, music, and literature has landed on campus with the Wits Hip Hop Society (WHHS) a social club for hip hop heads to share and connect.

“The society is about giving people a platform to express themselves through their hip hop culture but we also want to bring in people who wanna learn,” says third-year architecture student and co-founder Thando ‘Clyde’ Soundy. Soundy himself used to dance professionally for the South African Dance Team and has performed and competed in country’s like Germany and Austria.

Interim president of South African Arts & Culture Youth Forum, Romeo Ramuada says that university is a place where many young people discover themselves, arts and culture societies are important in institutions of higher learning because they are able to promote culture and heritage.

“It is through these societies that young people are able to use music and other artistic means to share knowledge and promote the countries social cohesion,” says Ramuada.

The society doesn’t have official quarters yet but they can break into psyphers and dance circles anywhere, anytime. They keep in contact with each other on their Whatsapp group and chat about where they will be entertaining Witsies next.

Their motto is “Make your beat shout” and say that they want members to put their hearts into their art and be proud about what their art represents.

From breakdancing to emceeing, Soundy says the club welcomes anyone with a passion for the hip hop lifestyle. The club coaches its 23 members in hip hop dance choreography and helps aspiring rappers to sharpen their lyrical skills.

One member Kabelo Ntini told Wits Vuvuzela that although he’s been rapping since high school, he signed up so he can sharpen his skills.

“I’ve been rapping since grade ten,” says Ntini.

He says people get tired of the Cassper Nyovests and AKAs, and those who are really hip hop heads are interested in up-and-coming talent.

Members will share and learn skills with each other but there will be weekly guests that will come and share different expertise sets with the club.

According to Ramuada, the biggest problem with institutions of higher learning in South Africa is that many young artists are either neglected or not recognised. During university events, they will either be used to perform for free or not even considered in university or SRC-based events.

But this society refuses to go down like that. Members also get a chance to test their skills out in front of real audiences. Their first event for their members, where they showcased their skills, was held at the Bannister Hotel in Braamfontein this past week and they promise more will follow.

“If you wanna hear good underground music, you should definitely come through,” says Ntini.

They say their long term goal is to own a recording studio and dance studio for their members and the general public to use.

“We aim to inform our members about the entertainment and how to make the most of their entertainment talent,” Soundy says.